The new generation of mobile devices really do have a lot to offer. You can stay connected with friends and family through voice call, video chat and by texting, you have all of the games and entertainment options, and they can be a great resource for when you want to look something up. Not only that, but they do all of this and more in a compact package that fits right in your hand.
While all of these benefits may be great, people spend far too little time thinking about the ways in which using these devices can affect the body. Neck pain is one of the most common issues that is associated with Smartphone and tablet use. People tend to assume an unnatural posture when they use these devices and as a result, it puts added pressure on the spine.
Think about how you position your body and hold the device when it is in use. If you are sitting, then it is likely that you have your arms either resting in your lap or at about waist level. If you are standing, then holding it close to the body and near the chest is one of the most common positions. With the device in these positions, it causes the user to slump their shoulders and place the head in a forward tilt.
When you tilt the head forward and round your shoulders like this, it puts more pressure on different sections of the spine and it holds certain muscles in a stressed position. When you spend a significant amount of time in this position, it can result in tightness in the neck, shoulders and upper back. Additionally, it can cause a misalignment in the affected areas of the spine, disc herniation and compress nerves.
If you use these mobile devices often, then you need to make an effort to be aware of the posture that you assume when you are using them. When you go to use your device, make sure that your shoulders are rolled back and in a comfortable position and keep you neck straight with your ears directly above your shoulders. In addition to this, you want to make sure to take breaks from device use. Whether it is a tablet, a Smartphone or a laptop, you want to take regular breaks to stretch the body and restore normal blood flow.
If you look in the different app stores, you will also find apps for your device that claim to be able to help with your posture when you use the device. Essentially, they use the sensors in the device to detect the way in which the device is being held and it uses indicators to let you know whether you need to adjust your posture. The efficacy of these apps is unknown, but if they are free, it can’t hurt to try one of them.
It wasn’t long after the introduction of text messaging before chiropractors started to see more patients that were complaining of neck pain, tightness in the shoulders and headaches. However, that was before mobile technology had so much to offer. With the wave of devices that have come on the scene and their adoption by so many consumers, these types of problems with the neck, shoulders and upper back are starting to become the norm. If you use any of these devices and especially if you have children that do, then you need to take steps to prevent the issues that can come with overuse and poor posture.